One-Arm Bent-Over Cable Lateral Raise


One-Arm Bent-Over Cable Lateral Raise Exercise

One-arm bent-over cable lateral raise is the machine equivalent of the dumbbell rear lateral raise, with the difference that the cable provides more constant resistance if you are careful to ensure a smooth (isokinetic) movement. So it’s much better to perform your one-arm at a time bent-over rear delt raises using a cable rather than dumbbells. The two-arm variant of this exercise is awkward. This unilateral version makes it possible to raise your hand higher and get a longer stretch at the bottom, thereby generating more work for the rear deltoid.

How to Perform One-Arm Bent-Over Cable Lateral Raise?

STARTING POSITION (SETUP): Attach a D-handle to a low pulley cable and set the weight stack at a suitable weight. Stand sideways to the pulley and grab the handle with the hand that’s farther away. Bend forward from the waist; your torso should be nearly parallel with the floor. Rest the hand nearest the cable (nonworking hand) on your knee, thigh or hip in order to stabilize yourself.

One-Arm Bent-Over Cable Raise

One-Arm Bent-Over Cable Raise

MOVEMENT (ACTION): Raise the handle out and up in an arc until your upper arm is around parallel with the ground. Keep only a slight bend in your working elbow. Your arm should move directly out to the sides. Hold the top position for a second then slowly lower the weight back to the starting position. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions and repeat the movement with the other arm.

Key Points & Common Mistakes

There are some tips that will help you get even more out of this already amazing posterior deltoid exercise.

  • It is important to keep your elbow far enough from your body to avoid using the lats too much.
  • To target the rear deltoid, your arm should move directly out to the sides. If your hand is raised in a forward arc in front of your head, the trapezius and lateral deltoid contribute to the exercise.
  • Don’t raise your torso; keep it almost parallel to the floor – this keeps the effort on the rear delt much more than with your torso inclined with your chest and head uppermost.
  • Common mistakes: bending the elbow to get help from the triceps, jerking the weight to reach the end of the raise and bringing your arm too close to your torso to engage the lats.


All two versions are very similar as far as their muscle focus; try them all to discover which one is the most comfortable and works the best for you.

  • Two-Arm Cable Rear Lateral Raise. Perform this exercise with two arms at a time by positioning yourself in the middle of the cable crossover station and holding a handle in each hand.
  • One-Arm Dumbbell Rear Lateral Raise. Although dumbbells are still an effective way to perform this exercise, they’re definitely not optimal if you want to see the very best results. This is because dumbbells only place significant tension on the posterior deltoids in the top half of the range of motion. Because of the force of gravity and the path that the dumbbell has to travel in, there’s virtually no stimulation on the posterior delts at the very bottom of the movement since the weight is simply being pulled straight down rather than out to the sides.

Replacement Exercises

To add variety to your shoulder workout routine, replace the one-arm bent-over cable lateral raise with a different exercise from our database that works the same muscles – rear delts. Each exercise works the main muscle and supporting muscles slightly differently.

Muscles Used in One-Arm Bent-Over Cable Raise

  • Main muscles: deltoid (rear), trapezius;
  • Secondary muscles: deltoid (middle), latissimus dorsi, triceps, teres major and minor, rhomboids;
  • Antagonists: deltoid (front), pectoral muscles, biceps;

Closing Thoughts

One-arm bent-over cable lateral raise is a great isolation exercise that targets the back of the shoulders. Using cables to perform this rear deltoid exercise is far more effective than using the dumbbells. Dumbbells have many weaknesses when used for doing bent-over lateral raises. That’s why we highly recommend using cables. The ideal scenario to get a really good stretch on a cable pulley is to use an adjustable one so that you are able to set the pulley just above your knee.

About Author

Hey! My name is Kruno, and I'm the owner and author of Bodybuilding Wizard. I started this website back in late 2014, and it has been my pet project ever since. My goal is to help you learn proper weight training and nutrition principles so that you can get strong and build the physique of your dreams!

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